loose after the first year or so; the marriage had
turned out rather badly.
And this, Lily thought, taking the green paint
on her brush, this making up scenes about them,
is what we call " knowing " people, " thinking "
of them, " being fond " of them! Not a word of
it was true; she had made it up; but it was what
she knew them by all the same. She went on
tunnelling her way into her picture, into the past.
Another time, Paul said he " played chess in
coffee-houses". She had built up a whole
structure of imagination on that saying too. She
remembered how, as he said it, she thought how
he rang up the servant, and she said " Mrs.
Rayley's out, sir ", and he decided that he would
not come home either. She saw him sitting in
the corner of some lugubrious place where the
smoke attached itself to the red plush seats, and
the waitresses got to know you, playing chess
with a little man who was in the tea trade and
lived at Surbiton, but that was all Paul knew about
him. And then Minta was out when he came
home and then there was that scene on the stairs,
when he got the poker in case of burglars (no
doubt to frighten her too) and spoke so bitterly,
saying she had ruined his life. At any rate when
she went down to see them at a cottage near
Rickmansworth, things were horribly strained